Wesleyan University
#103 Overall Influence#34 Desirability Rank

Wesleyan University

Private liberal arts college in Middletown, Connecticut

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By James Barham, PhD

Wesleyan University was founded in 1831 under the auspices of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1872, Wesleyan led the way in admitting female students, an effort sometimes referred to as the “Wesleyan Experiment.” However, resistance to the experiment in certain quarters made itself increasingly felt, until the policy was reversed in 1912. Women were not admitted again until 1970.

In 1937, the university became officially independent from the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Today, Wesleyan is a fully secular, private research university. It comprises 46 undergraduate academic departments which offer more than 900 courses each semester. In addition, the university has 11 graduate-level departmental programs. Among its innovative programs we may mention the College of East Asian Studies, the College of the Environment, the College of Film and the Moving Image, and the College of Integrative Studies.

Wesleyan also has a highly respected world music program, covering West African, Caribbean, African-American, South Asian (classical Indian), Southeast Asian (classical Indonesian), and East Asian (classical Chinese, Japanese, and Korean) traditions, in addition to the traditional European classical music traditions, including contemporary and experimental music.

Wesleyan University is associated with four Nobel Prize laureates, namely,

  • Novelist, V.S. Naipaul for literature
  • Chemist, Satoshi Omura for physiology or medicine
  • Economist, Gary Yohe for peace
  • 28th US President, Woodrow Wilson for peace

In addition, in the early 1960s, towards the end of his life, the great Anglo-American poet, T.S. Eliot, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1948, worked as an editor for Wesleyan University Press.

Other prominent Wesleyan-associated individuals include the following:

  • Mathematicians, Edward Burr Van Vleck, Sanford L. Segal & Jennifer Tour Chayes
  • Computer scientist, Leslie Greengard
  • Philosophers, Robert Stalnaker & Daniel Dennett
  • Poets, Richard Wilbur, Donald Hall & Mark Strand
  • Non-fiction authors, Mary Roach, Sebastian Junger & Ariel Levy
  • Literary scholar, Seth Lerer
  • Actors, Alice Nunn, Bradley Whitford, Laura Fraser, Sarah Schaub & William Garson
  • Comedian, Vladimir Caamaño
  • Film director and producer, Michael Bay
  • Film director, producer, and screenwriter, Joss Whedon
  • Film and TV screenwriter, Mike White
  • TV screenwriter and producer, Matthew Weiner
  • Popular musicians, Amanda Palmer, Santigold (Santi White), Andrew VanWyngarden & Ben Goldwasser
  • Jazz saxophonist and composer, Steve Lehman
  • Operatic composer, lyricist, and playwright, Lin-Manuel Miranda
  • Musicologist and classical composer, Neely Bruce
  • Gamelan virtuoso, Sumarsam
  • Experimental classical composer, John Cage
  • Physicist, Edward Bennett Rosa
  • Statistical physicist, H. Eugene Stanley
  • Geologists, William North Rice, Alexander Winchell & Gordon P. Eaton
  • Chemist, Wilbur Olin Atwater
  • Biochemist, Charles Brenner
  • Botanist, Albert Francis Blakeslee
  • Zoologist, Aaron Louis Treadwell
  • Neuroscientist, Michael Greenberg
  • Psychologists, Elliot Aronson, David McClelland & Beverly Daniel Tatum
  • Psychotherapists, Allan Hobson & Amy Bloom
  • Sociologist, Juliet B. Schor
  • Historians, Nicholas Dirks & Kate Cooper
  • Historians of science, Charles C. Gillispie & Gerald Holton
  • American studies scholar, John Stauffer
  • African American studies scholar, Saidiya Hartman
  • Economists, Steven M. Sheffrin, Kenneth D. West & Gary Loveman
  • Economist and political scientist, Charles Tiebout
  • Political scientist, Adam Berinski
  • Legal scholars, Naomi Mezey & Gabriel J. Chin
  • Radio personality, Angela Yee
  • TV journalist and political commentator, John Yang
  • Online newspaper publisher, Robert Allbritton
  • Former Colorado Governor, John Hickenlooper
  • Current US Senator, Michael Bennett

From Wikipedia

Wesleyan University is a private liberal arts university in Middletown, Connecticut. Founded in 1831 as a men's college under the auspices of the Methodist Episcopal Church and with the support of prominent residents of Middletown, the college was the first institution of higher education to be named after John Wesley, the founder of Methodism. It is now a secular institution.

Source: Wikipedia


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45 Wyllys Avenue, Middletown CT 06459

City Crime Rates

Property Crime

20 per 100k

Violent Crime

2 per 100k

Influential People

Who are Wesleyan University's Most influential alumni?

Wesleyan University's most influential alumni faculty include professors and professionals in the fields of . Wesleyan University’s most academically influential people include Gary Loveman, Mark C. Taylor , and David C. Robertson.

Gary Loveman

American businessman

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Mark C. Taylor

American philosopher

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David C. Robertson

American computer scientist

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Hamilton Morris

American journalist

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Leonard Burman

American economist

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Arthur T. Vanderbilt

American judge

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Richard Slotkin

American historian

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Rusty Hardin

American lawyer

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Alan Marcus


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Stephen S. Trott
Stephen S. Trott

Federal Judge

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John Hagel III
John Hagel III

American writer

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Glen David Gold
Glen David Gold

American writer

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